5 Things I’m Enjoying, Reading and Working On This Week 40

reading writing

This type of posts is inspired by Tim Ferriss’ 5-Bullet Friday. That’s an email he sends to subscribers every Friday with a list of the things he enjoyed and did during the week (an article he read, a useful purchase he made, something interesting he watched and so on). I like it a lot and find it inspiring and helpful. And considering that I’m reading, thinking about and trying to improve different things every week, I decided to do the same.
It’s published on Sunday. You can read all similar posts here.

New book: How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

I bought it in paperback cause I want to come back to it every now and then once I finish reading it.

If you’re into self-improvement, or simply a fan of motivational literature, you’re familiar with it. It’s one of the bestsellers of all time. And it’s written by one of the masters.

I’m looking forward to reading it. It has powerful lessons on communication, dealing with people, being a better speaker, making friends, winning people to your way of thinking and much more.

It’s written in a conversational way and Dale Carnegie basically shares real-life stories throughout the whole book. So it makes it easy to read and super practical.
So if you’re looking for something new to read, or need improvement in this area of your life, check out this book.

YouTube: You can listen to the podcast there too.

If you’ve been following the blog for some time, you know pretty well that my favorite medium is written content. And starting the podcast – which means using my voice and working with audio content – was a step out of my comfort zone, but which turned out to be the right decision and something I have fun with.

I’ve been thinking of getting myself to YouTube somehow for some time now. But never did my research. Turns out it’s a piece of cake.

But first, here are the reasons why I wanted to do it:
• it’s the second largest search engine after Google;
• it’s the third most visited site in the world (after Google and Facebook);
• there are 3 billion daily views;
• Google can rank my videos for keywords.

So that’s yet another chance for exposure and getting in front of a new audience. Here’s the Let’s Reach Success Podcast channel on YouTube.

I don’t expect any popularity and traffic there for now and aren’t doing much about it anyways. But it’s nice to make the post about each podcast episode even more useful by embedding the video in the end and giving the listener another chance to listen to it there directly. By doing this, I’m offering audio, video and written content in one place. And Google loves such variety.

Series I just finished watching: White Collar

I don’t watch TV as I don’t like being told what to watch or being exposed to ads all the time. Instead, I watch what I like on my laptop.

I tend to prefer series over movies. And I want to focus on one at a time, and move onto another once I finish it.
It’s not how I spend my free time all the time, it happens every now and then. But is actually something I enjoy while eating (A bad habit, I know!).

So the latest I’ve watched till the end (which means that I loved it) is White Collar. It engages my mind in an interesting way so I consider it informative and entertaining at the same time, plus it’s a learning experience.

The main character is really charming and an interesting individual from a psychological point of view.

To describe it in a few words: A white collar criminal agrees to help the FBI catch other white collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman. (IMDB)
If that sounds like fun to you and want to watch something new this month, check it out.

Articles I enjoyed

Are you an extroverted introvert? – I certainly am. Haven’t found an article that made that clear before. This one does.

Advice from Pat Flynn on site optimization – quite useful if you have an online business, or just a side project, and want to improve things. Check out the 3 real-life examples he gives and take action today.

How to Build an Empire – Leo from ZenHabits strikes again with a simply written, but super powerful and inspiring post. It’s about self-analysis, the meaning of life, helping others and letting go.

The 2016 Gear Post – don’t know if you’re familiar with Tynan, but it’s another person I’m following and learning from online. He’s living the nomadic lifestyle – working online, being a minimalist and traveling all the time. And he’s living quite simply and happily. In this post he describes every material object he uses and that it can all be put in a backpack. He shows a picture of each too, and shares where you can get the same. Every item has a purpose, is useful and as light and simple as possible.
Most people live complicated lives because of the many belongings in their home. They bring unwanted worries, need to be fixed and taken care of, and so on. So this post is a good example of how possible it is to live with less. Check it out.

Semantic Writing

Someone asked me about it on Twitter, and I realized it’s a concept I’ve never though and read about. It got me interested right away.

The fact that there isn’t much about it online (at least with the first results) makes it even more curious.

It’s connected to semantics – the study of meaning. “It focuses on the relation between signifiers, like words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for. The word semantics itself denotes a range of ideas—from the popular to the highly technical. It is often used in ordinary language for denoting a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation.”

From there, I went to read about how to write for the Web in such a way, both to make your content more meaningful and to be ranked higher in search engines.

And here’s something interesting by HitTail:

“So, Google is not just about simply discovering information any more — it’s about ordering the web into a coherent flow of information; how topics, themes, ideas, text, video, audio — all of it — is connected and relate to each other.

A part of this are such small things like structured data markup, schema, Google Knowledge Graph, Bing Snapshots, and Open Graph Protocol.

The idea of the “Semantic Web” will, naturally, affect us SEOers and shift the ground towards “Semantic SEO”.
This is ultimately why SEO will never really die; it will just change, continually.

But, a caveat: semantic web is NOT the same as semantic SEO.

On-site SEO, for example, is all about ordering information (site structure, headlines, text, layout, links) to the point where visitors and search engines finds it valuable enough to send it to the top of first page results.

It’s all about making sense, making meaning out of the barrage of information that is created and shared every minute of every day, non-stop.”

Next, I’ll read more about Wikipedia as a structured site, because I can’t think of a better example of link building and content organization than it. And it ranks number 1 for almost any keyword.
Then, I’m thinking of reading a bit about Schema and managing data, without getting too much into the technical part.

I’m quite interested in that, but confused at the same time as I can’t even define the whole idea. But it includes creating content, organizing information, figuring out how Google and the Internet work (which is yet another question without a straight answer), SEO, finding meaning (in anything), and more.

I think I may come to interesting conclusions and learn useful stuff while pondering on all this.

Let me know if you have any info on semantic writing. And don’t be harsh, I don’t know anything about that now but am eager to learn. :)

Quotes for Inspiration

I truly love Peter Pan and his story. I wrote a post about the things we can learn from him about life, happiness and magic this week (not published yet) and that brought back the inspiration that only his quotes and sayings can bring. Here are some:

“Dream do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.

“Just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings forever in never never land.”

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”

“It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”

“All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust.”

What do you think? Both about the stuff I covered in the post and my decision to make such posts from now on?
Also, what things did you enjoy, ponder and work on this week?

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Hunt Down Your Goals and Become Fearless Like a Lion 12

Hunt Down Your Goals and Become Fearless Like a Lion

To be fearless is to dare yourself to think new thoughts, take risks, fail and find the courage to start again.

In order to change, you must face the uncomfortable, because fear is not supposed to run you. Instead, it is a call to action.

We all have fear and we must never let it paralyze our dreams. If 2017 was an unsuccessful year, hopefully, this article will inspire you to take action.

I know how it feels when you are tired of listening to those inner voices of doubt. Slowly, the anger builds up inside. Despite those feelings, you can channel fear and anger in the right way and start to hunt for your dreams. Throughout my life, I felt a renewed hunger and drive to succeed when I simply let go of denial, accepted full responsibility and took affirmative action.

“Everybody wants to eat but a few are willing to hunt”

In today’s cold reality humans do not like to see anyone other than themselves succeed. Most will never take the next step to improve their life or the lives of their future generations to come. We are pushing towards survival of the fittest.

Tell me, when a lion hunts does it care what is in its way? No. The lion is in pursuit because it is relentless.

You must become the king of the jungle. All the things that make up our lives are in intricate balance and you must fight to protect your dreams.

1. Be fearless like a lion.

A lion has no fear of any challenge, so how do I become fearless?

My simple answer to overcoming fear is that I wake up with the burning desire in my heart. The burning desire is created by repeating positive affirmations like I CAN and I WILL.

Hidden somewhere deep down within you, there is that courage to dare yourself.

Ask yourself who is really stopping you? Go out there and let loose and you will learn what great lengths you are capable of going to.

Your first job before you start hunting is to find the fighter within you.

2. Know your limits and then defy them.

You’ve reached a certain limit but just can’t seem to go that extra mile. Once you become fearless, you become limitless.

A mind that is fearless has the urge to take more action and that is where you become defiant. Try your best to understand what you are doing wrong as sometimes it is easy to give up hope. So focus your attention on studying the obstacle in detail.

As you achieve one goal, you have the mental capacity, maturity and experience to face a new challenge. Therefore, your hunger and appetite for more success increase. Keep pushing no matter what and you will eventually break through.

I know for sure it is difficult at first, but now you’ve successfully defied the odds.

3. Think of a plan, visualize it and execute it.

A lion stalks its prey from a distance and seldom charges as it grows closer and closer displaying deadly predatory behaviour.

Never rush to execute a plan as it takes careful selection. Be clear what you want just as the lion calculates timing. 

Visualization is a vital tool to programme your subconscious mind in order to create that bridge of what is non-existent into reality, which is capturing your goal.

4. Be willing to accept failure.

Failures are what propel anyone forward their current success. We can certainly learn from our failures, but our intentions should be to succeed in accomplishing our goals! Failure is then a learning process, not a reason to accept defeat. You are the king, show no remorse!!!

Motivation from Will Smith is perhaps one of my favorites. Here’s one speech:

5. Have a winning attitude every day.

To keep the cycle of motivation in constant momentum you must work hard too.

The winning attitude is created by approaching your life with discipline and putting in the hours of practice.

I like to perform a reflective practice and personal development, which enables me to identify areas where I am falling down and thus need to pay more attention to.

6. Don’t allow criticism to defeat you.

We are afraid what others think of us, what we have or what we are going to do. It is you that must make that self-promise to finish what you started.

Every once in a while, a lion must remind everyone what he is capable of.

You are the king of the jungle. Own it!


This article was written by Usman Mahmood. Besides working in the field of science helping patients through genetic testing, his purpose is to empower and inspire people in life with motivational videos, messages, articles, and stories from around the world. He loves to engage creative and ambitious minds on his Facebook page.